Christopher Schwarz Demonstrates How to Construct a Roubo Workbench with a Slab Top

# Building a Roubo Workbench with Popular Woodworking

Are you a woodworker in need of a reliable workbench? Look no further than the Roubo workbench. In this vintage Popular Woodworking video, master woodworker Christopher Schwarz walks you through the process of building this essential tool using hand tools and a bit of power tool muscle.

Originally designed by 18th century woodworker Andre Roubo, this workbench is simpler and stouter than any other bench Schwarz has seen. It can handle every major woodworking and workholding operation, making it a must-have piece for any serious woodworker.

To build this bench, Schwarz emphasizes the importance of workholding on boards’ faces, edges, and ends. He walks through each step of the process, from building the top to adding a quick-release vise and dog holes along the front edge.

Watch this informative video and get started on building your own Roubo workbench. For more plans and information, visit [Popular Woodworking](

Keywords/Tags: Popular,Woodworking,workbench,roubo,hand tools,maker

Source: [Popular Woodworking](

In this vintage Popular Woodworking video, follow along with Christopher Schwarz as he builds a Roubo workbench using a lot of hand tools (and a little bit of power tool muscle, too).

Get plans and more on this Roubo workbench here: Bates

What do you think?


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  1. I'm really surprised that you chose to put your dog holes on that side of the bench with a shake through it. The opposite side was free of defects, and this would have been the obvious place to drill a series of holes. You rely on those holes staying much the same shape and size, so putting them in sound timber seems obvious to me.
    Secondly, the most likely way the waste would be removed between the two tenons at the top of the legs is by drilling a large hole all the way through, before finishing off with a chisel. Much quicker than either of the ways you suggested.
    Thirdly, drilling your peg holes prior to chopping out mortices means there is no break-out inside the mortice. It's particularly beneficial to do this if you are using a spade bit, because there is additionally a strong chance of hole-mis-alignment either side of the mortice if you do things in the wrong order. Less of an issue with a brace and bit.
    Finally, I have no idea why anyone would apply a finish to a workbench. It's not a piece of furniture.

  2. You are a good teacher, Chris. I've studied with Tedd Benson, Jay Van Arsdale, Makoto Imai and Jack Sobon, all good instructors and you are right up there with them. I will be building this bench in the near future. Probably out of "yellow wood."

  3. I've watched this video a half-dozen times. It's just great. I've just started the process of turning some 100+ year old Douglas fir beams into my first proper workbench, and this video is very inspiring. Thanks for posting!

  4. These saws are unnecessarily fine cutting for this work, and the "tall thin" tenon saw itself is unseen in vintage saws for a good reason. Both are a huge liability in trying to actually do this by hand and yet another in a long string of demonstrations by "gurus" making hand work seem harder than it is.

    And this is in poplar – what is a watcher going to do when they try to do this with ash or beech?

    It's agonizing to watch.

  5. You are working with absolutely zero power-tools, and watching you is mesmerizing! I’m watching in absolute amazement as I see the other great Masters of Woodworking, through you. The Bench is stunning. It seems a shame to creat a piece of perfection and beauty, just to be used as a utility bench. Too beautiful for someone like me. However, for YOU the reasoning is obvious. An Artist doesn’t create a Rembrandt or DaVinci on a sheet of plywood resting on saw-horses, does he! The perfect blank canvas enspires a perfect work of Art. The handcrafted Roubo Workbench is Absolutely Magnificent! Thank You for showing us how the Old Masters would have made it.

  6. You are, no lie, one of my heroes. I didn’t see this for 4 years after I built my table. Your book was instrumental in my understanding and flex to my size. You helped everything about my woodworking… I’m now a professional woodworker. My table was and will always be my number 1 tool.

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